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Drone AR to be featured at Red Bull Event

The Red Bull Rampage, held in Southern Utah since 2001, is an event that brings together some top mountain bikers from all parts of the world. The event sees 15 of the sport’s best compete across areas of rugged and varied terrain. Viewers can witness the athletes making terrific jumps and showcasing a wide array of stunts. Every year, a large number of in-person attendees, along with TV and online audiences enjoy the extravaganza.

The event film shows the talent of the riders and the raw grandeur of the area well, but the event organisers desired something better to please the audiences. They were looking for ways to provide closer looks at the different stunts on the ridges and cliffs and relay significantly more geographical information. The organisers turned to augmented reality technology in order to achieve such goals.

The Red Bull Rampage event organisers chose to rely on Frontier Precision, a firm that specialises in advanced drone tech solutions for applications such as engineering, surveying, and mapping.

Wyatt Robbins, President of Air-Supply Aerial, a Frontier Precision business, stated that he was approached by a coworker who inquired if he would be open to the idea of working on a project that was somewhat unusual and categorical as a risky undertaking. The concept demanded that using drones in conjunction with sophisticated imaging technologies facilitate the creation of a more engaging Red Bull Rampage experience.

Robbins emphasised that the company aimed to develop a three-dimensional point cloud to make a mesh. This is a process similar to that used in photogrammetry application mapping, and involves stitching images to form a functional 3D model. What was fascinating here was that they were not searching for exact measurements. Instead, they were looking for an engaging process to display the environment.

This research captured hundreds of photographs of a cliff face with over 1,000-foot sides employing the most sophisticated equipment and aircraft. The exact capture technique resembled that used by numerous drone operators on a regular basis. Robbins employed a mix of grid missions to get both Oblique and Nadir photos, along with a flight path that kept a steady distance from the landscape.

Robbins and his coworkers hovered roughly 180 meters above the ground utilising a DJI Matrice 300, IXM 100/ 35mm lens, and Phase One P3 Payload for the experiment. According to him, After a few days, the drone had collected approximately 12 hours of flying time and numerous photographs. Robbins added that on every flight path, the drone had to climb and plunge down from the cliff, a series of motions that amply tested the batteries and frame.

Robbins thinks that when more individuals from various professions realise the possibilities of augmented reality, its appeal will expand. Elaborating on the development, he said that upon seeing the content, he found it hard to comprehend that the footage was shot with a drone.

The use of AR for the Red Bull Rampage project has garnered a lot of excitement from all involved, and it can show the way forward for other live events in the future.

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